One element of my research is the construction of a database of high impact firms that were created by students. I am currently going through the database to fill in gaps and validate that various firms fit the definition of high impact. One of the firms is Plaxo. I came across this interview with Plaxo Co-Founder Todd Masonis. Mr. Masonis and Cameron Ring are described as Stanford Engineers in early Plaxo press releases and media. The interview with Todd Masonis:
2) I understand that Plaxo is the third company you have founded. Can I ask, what motivated you to get into business, to become an Entrepreneur and how old were you when you founded your first business?
I had always been interested in starting a company — and going to Stanford in the late nineties accelerated that idea. At that time (during the bubble), everyone was trying to start a company or dream up start-up ideas. So for my first company, some friends and I started it over one summer between Freshman and Sophomore year of college. I was about 18 years old then. We built a product, launched, it got users, got some press, and got some great experience. Eventually we decided to kill it and go back to school, but the experience was incredibly valuable for when we started Plaxo.
7) What advice would you give to a Young Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
I think the hardest part is just starting. There are a million reasons why an idea won’t work or insurmountable obstacles you could imagine. However, I think you just need to jump in and start. In the worst case, you will fail and learn from that and try again. So if you have an idea or passion, you should just do it.